OC Supervisor Katrina Foley Releases Statement on Passage of FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024

ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA — Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley released a statement following the news of President Joe Biden signing the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024 into law. Key provisions focus on PFAs disposal, expanding consumer protections, airport infrastructure grants, and more.  

“It’s great to see a unanimous vote by our entire Orange County House Delegation, including our California Senators voting to support the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024 to create a cleaner, greener, safer, and worker friendly future for the aviation industry nationwide and in Orange County. I commend the House and Senate for passing, and thank President Biden for signing,” said Supervisor Katrina Foley.  “This legislation benefits all Orange County residents, our aviation industry workers, and those who fly in and out John Wayne Airport by transitioning away from dangerous chemicals like PFAS in firefighting foam, growing our workforce by hiring 3000 Air Traffic Controllers to close the vacancies gap, providing unprecedented consumer protections for airline customers especially prioritizing families, investing in airport infrastructure upgrades, and supporting the next generation of technology that will bring lighter, quieter, cleaner and more environmentally friendly aircraft flying over our communities in Orange County and nationwide.” 

"JWA commends the passage of the FAA reauthorization bill, a critical milestone that will significantly enhance aviation infrastructure nationwide,” said John Wayne Airport Director Charlene Reynolds. “With increased funding for vital projects like runway safety, environmental sustainability, and workforce development, this legislation marks a pivotal step towards ensuring safer, more efficient, and accessible travel for all." 

Key Provisions of the FAA Re-Authorization:

  • PFAS Disposal and Transition Grants: The bill establishes a $350 million grant program to help airports dispose of PFAS, harmful forever chemicals used in firefighting foam, and replace them with safer solutions for firefighters. We strongly advocated for the Airport Terminal Program and Airport Improvement Program that was included in the legislation.  
  • Addresses Air Traffic Controller (ATC) Shortages: With a shortage of approximately 3,000 air traffic controllers nationwide, the bill requires that FAA implement improved staffing standards developed with the labor workforce to close staffing gaps. 
  • Airport Infrastructure Grants: $19.35 billion for infrastructure improvement grants to support the increasing demand and integration of emerging technologies.  
  • Cleaner Fuel Alternatives and Advanced Materials: Research funding expanded to make aircraft lighter and more fuel efficient and improve aircraft safety and accessibility for individuals with disabilities. Expands funding for Alternative Jet Fuels and Environment (ASCENT) program.  
  • Sets Clear Right to Refunds: For the first time, passengers will have the right to a hassle-free refund if a flight is cancelled or delayed 3-hours domestically and if an international flight is delayed 6-hours. 
  • Sets Minimum Standards for Airline Credits: When airlines offer credits or in lieu of a refund, credits must be good for at least 5 years. 
  • Requires Fee-Free Family Seating: The bill prohibits airlines from charging fees for families to sit together.  
  • Improves Communication with Consumers When Things Go Wrong: Requires airlines to provide free, 24/7 access to customer service agents by phone, live chat or text message.    
  • Makes Airline Passenger Service Standards Comparison Dashboard Permanent: The bill requires Department of Transportation (DOT) to permanently operate an online dashboard comparing information about airline family seating policies and consumer redress in the event of a delay or cancellation where the airline is at fault.  DOT must create a dashboard that shows consumers the minimum seat sizes for each U.S. airline. 
  • Sets Reimbursement Policy for Incurred Costs: Airlines must establish policies regarding reimbursement for lodging, transportation between lodging and the airport, and meal costs incurred due to a flight cancellation or significant delay directly attributable to the air carrier. 


Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2022 to represent the newly established District 5, which includes the cities of Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, a large portion of Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Newport Beach, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, as well as the unincorporated areas of Coto de Caza, Emerald Bay, Ladera Ranch, Las Flores, Rancho Mission Viejo, Stonecliffe and Wagon Wheel. This is her second term on the Board of Supervisors, where she previously served District 2.

Supervisor Foley’s Board appointments include the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA), OCFA Legislation & Public Affairs Committee Chair, Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), OCTA Legislative and Communications Committee Vice Chair, Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency, Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA), TCA Joint Environmental Committee, Coastal Greenbelt Authority, Newport Bay and South Orange County Watershed Executive Committees, Ocean Institute, San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) Community Engagement Panel, Spent Fuel Solutions Coalition Co-Chair, Orange County Housing Finance Trust Chair, and the Orange County Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council.